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Thursday, 17 October 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies

Curing compound protects concrete against drying cracks

Monday, 1 September 2014

A new curing compound prevents cracks during the drying stage of industrial flooring concrete in the summer.

The curing compound forms a barrier of active-component molecules.

Source: BASF

The curing compound forms a barrier of active-component molecules.

Source: BASF

With regard to concrete floors, this is particularly true for the phase between pouring and subsequent surface smoothing, known as floating or power troweling. Even at environmental temperatures of 20°C, 50% relative humidity and wind velocities of 20 kilometers per hour, fresh concrete loses about 0.6 kilogram water per square meter and hour during that stage. This can lead to drying cracks, known as early-age shrinkage cracks. Further consequences may include additional costs for repairs or even customer complaints.

Inhibiting the evaporation of the water film

"MasterKure 111WB” from BASF is used during the intermediate curing stage of industrial flooring concrete. This means that it takes effect a step earlier than conventional curing compounds – usually, these can only be applied onto the matt-dry concrete surface some five hours after placing. The non-solvent-based, sprayable evaporation inhibitor prevents the water film, created when the concrete has initially settled after placement, from evaporating. It forms a barrier of active-component molecules which inhibits the evaporation of the water film. This is particularly relevant with regard to concretes and their lower water-cement ratios and finer cements. The use results in an about 80% reduction of water evaporation during the first four hours compared to untreated concrete, largely preventing the occurrence of early-age shrinkage cracks. The thin layer on the surface also has another benefit: When the concrete is treated with the power trowel later on, the inhibitor acts like a lubricant, thereby facilitating the entire troweling process.

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